- Chill, bro! Take a stroll – and deep breaths
- Take five to relax before turning the ignition key
- Watch out for the first signs of stress – and act!
LONDON, England – Stress will affect you at some time whether at work, at home or in a tough situation… such as driving in the ”rush” hour.
A survey in the UK has shown how stress can affect you physically and emotionally to impair judgement (potentially fatal if you are driving!) and reactions.
Advice from experts at Ben, an independent charity which provides support for life to the people of the automotive industry, suggests trying to relax before turning the ignition key.
”It’s important to recognise how you feel, to try to relax before getting in a car so here are some tips for what to do if you feel stressed before driving.”
Recognise the warning signs of stress. You might feel some, or even all, of these:
- Becoming easily irritated with colleagues, friends, family
- Feeling distracted, forgetful or moody
- Having racing thoughts
- Not being able to ‘switch off’
- Becoming quiet and withdrawn
- Under- or over-eating
- Smoking and drinking more alcohol or taking drugs
- Tensed muscles, headaches, nausea
- Insomnia and frequent illness
So, here are a few suggestions to observe before getting in the driving seat… a few tips to do before you get in the car stressed:
Take a walk around the block to get some fresh air and unwind from the office.
Wait until you feel calm enough to head out on your journey. Driving can be stressful, especially in traffic, so if you’re already stressed matters will become worse.
Takes some deep breaths as you buckle-inry mindfulness and deep breathing before getting behind the wheel.
If you’re feeling ill from stress, having headaches or nausea, drink plenty of water and get some fresh air.
List things that are stressing you and promise yourself time to think about them later.
Be sure you aren’t too tired to drive.
IAM RoadSmart in the UK advises that, if you’re becoming sleepy at the wheel, find a safe place to stop off the main road or motorway. Research suggests that almost 20% of crashes on major roads are sleep-related.
Failing all that, try telling somebody you trust how you feel. Talking it out with a loved one, Ben says, can make all the difference… even help to find a solution.